Orange County News

Diocese ups Crystal Cathedral offer by $2M

Monday, November 14, 2011

A Roman Catholic Diocese raised its offer for the financially ailing Crystal Cathedral, home of the long-running televangelist show "Hour of Power," as a federal bankruptcy court evaluated competing bids for the sprawling grounds Monday.

A judge is expected to choose whether the bankrupt church will go to Chapman University or the Roman Catholic Diocese of Orange.

Chapman University is offering a 15-year lease back plan so the ministry at Crystal Cathedral could continue. It's also offering a buyback option so the ministry can purchase four buildings, including the iconic glass sanctuary.

Under the Chapman bid, the church would be allowed to operate the Memorial Gardens cemetery as well as continue to broadcast the TV program "Hour of Power."

Under the Diocese bid, the ministry would be allowed to operate in the core building for a few years and then relocate.

The "Hour of Power" program would no longer be broadcast from the Crystal Cathedral.

The Memorial Gardens cemetery would be run by the Diocese, but it assured a bankruptcy judge that the cemetery will continue to be a resting place for anyone who is already there or has purchased plots there, regardless of whether they're Catholic.

If it comes down to money, the Diocese has an upper hand because it raised its bid to $57.5 million from an earlier offer of $55.4 million. The university is offering $51.5 million.

The church has designated Chapman as its "preferred buyer."

Crystal Cathedral's founder, the Rev. Robert H. Schuller, objects to Chapman's bid, one of his attorneys told U.S. District Judge Robert Kwan.

(Copyright ©2014 KABC-TV/DT. All Rights Reserved.)

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